Arkansas Vital Records
Arkansas Vital Records
In Arkansas, the Office of Vital Records is tasked with maintaining all vital records at a state level, which includes key life event documentation. These key life milestones may consist of births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. The files and records on these events can include, but is not limited to, divorce decrees, divorce certificates and other divorce records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, marriage certificates. These aforementioned files and records are all stored together in a central record registry. They can then be used later for statistical analysis.
In Arkansas, divorce records are issued by government officials after the divorce in question is registered. When a person files for a divorce/annulment in the state, records of the subsequent event are stored, along with other state vital files, in the state’s central registry. These files may consist of divorce certificates and divorce decrees, as well as other divorce-related files. It depends on the actual state as to whether these can be accessed and copied by the public. Divorce records are split into two categories in Arkansas, before 1917 and after 1917. Some of the earliest records were collected by the relevant county clerk wherever the license was issued/bride’s residence. Some counties in Arkansas have two separate courthouses, meaning people will have to check both for records. There was a divorce rate of 3.7 per 1,000 inhabitants in Arkansas in 2017. Divorce records cost $10 per copy in Arkansas.
Marriage records are also issued by government officials in the state of Arkansas, after the wedding is registered. Marriage records are split into two categories in Arkansas, before 1917 and after 1917. Some of the earliest records were collected by the relevant county clerk wherever the license was issued/bride’s residence. Some counties in Arkansas have two separate courthouses, meaning people will have to check both for records. Records from before 1917 are currently held at the Arkansas Department of Health. They have indexed records from 1820 onwards. Records from after 1917 can be found at the Arkansas Department of Health, as well as the Arkansas Family Search Catalogue. There was a marriage rate of 9.5 per 1,000 inhabitants in Arkansas in 2017. Marriage records cost $10 per copy in Arkansas.
Birth records more often than not refer to the certificates issued upon the birth of every single child in the state of Arkansas, or a certified copy of that original file. Records in Arkansas are split into two sections, 1881-1914 and 1914-present day. Records from before 1914 were collected by the county clerks’ offices/county of birth. A state-wide registration of birth records was introduced in 1914, but was not fully complied with until the mid-1930s. Birth records only enter the public domain 100 years after the birth, unless a person is a direct relative. Records are issued by the Arkansas Division of Vital Records. There was a birth rate of 11.8 per 1,000 inhabitants in Arkansas in 2017. Birth records cost $12 per copy in Arkansas.
Death records more often than not relate to the copy of information from a person’s death certificate upon their passing. . A state-wide registration of death records was introduced in 1914. Before 1914, records were collected from county offices and church registers. Information recorded on these documents is given by a relative, and may or may not be correct. The Arkansas Department of Health is in charge of holding original death records. Records between 1914 and 1949 have been indexed at the Arkansas History Commission. There were 32,606 deaths in Arkansas in 2017. Death records cost $10 per copy in Arkansas.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act was introduced in 1967, with the most recent amendments coming in the year 2000. This Act was brought in to ensure that all residents of the state had the fundamental right to access public records. All public records held by the state and local government may be accessed and copied by members of the public.
To access records:
Arkansas Department of Health
Vital Records Section, Slot 44
4815 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205